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Stories by Beth Accomando

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How To Make An Orc Sword

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The second installment of the Hobbit Trilogy opened last night reigniting interest in the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth with its hobbits, orcs, elves, and dwarves. I visited the Grossmont College Foundry where one student decided to try and forge an orc sword.

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Review: 'The Last Days On Mars' and "The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug'

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This weekend at the movies you can travel to Middle Earth by way of “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug” (opened at midnight last night throughout San Diego) or to Mars courtesy of the indie film “The Last Days on Mars” (playing one week only at Landmark's Ken Cinema December 13 to 19).

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'Tis The Season For Christmas Plays

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Tis the season for holiday theater fare and two San Diego standards are back. The Globe presents "Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas" for its 16th year, and Cygnet stages the classic "A Christmas Carol" for the second time.

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Review: 'The Punk Singer'

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“The Punk Singer” (opening Dec. 6 at the Digital Gym Cinema) is a documentary focusing on Kathleen Hanna, the dynamic lead singer of Bikini Kill. She was a feminist and activist who mysteriously stopped singing in 2005.

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Behind The Scenes: 'Sideshow'

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The musical “Sideshow” just opened at La Jolla Playhouse. It takes its inspiration from the 1932 film "Freaks" and the real life conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton.

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Review: 'Nebraska'

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“Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and ”The Hobbit 2" might be getting most of the media attention but little films like Alexander Payne's “Nebraska” refuse to be eclipsed by these Hollywood behemoths.

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Rants And Raves: Doctor Who Turns 50

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Sonic screwdrivers, weeping angels, a flying TARDIS… enter the world the world of "Doctor Who," the wildly popular BBC sci-fi series that turns 50 this year.

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Return Of Schlockfest

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The dictionary defines schlock as something inferior, shoddy or cheap. But the folks behind the San Diego Library’s Schlockfest Film Series would disagree.

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Preview: Malashock/RAW4

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A trio of dynamic choreographers team up to shock and amaze audiences with the fourth installment of Malashock/RAW4. Guest choreographer Michael Mizerany talks about pushing the envelope in dance.

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Rants and Raves: Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

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Take a tour inside London's famous Hoxton Street Monster Supplies: Purveyor of Quality Goods for Monsters of Every Kind.

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Behind The Scenes: 'She-Rantulas From Outer Space In 3D'

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Diversionary Theater opened “She-Rantulas from Outer Space in 3D” on Halloween. But don’t be tricked by it’s B-movie trappings.

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'Evil Dead The Musical' Reanimates For Halloween

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The dead don’t always like to stay dead, which is why “Evil Dead The Musical” has reanimated itself for the Terror on Tenth program at the Tenth Avenue Theater downtown through November 2.

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Midday Movies: Horror So Bad, It's Good

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This Thursday, the 4th Annual Horrible Imaginings Film Festival kicks off. Festival director Miguel Rodriguez has designated Friday as "camp night" with a revival screening of "The Killer Shrews" and its brand new sequel, which raise the question: "What makes a bad film good?"

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Review: 'Carrie'

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The remakes keep rolling in. This month we get a new version of Brian DePalma’s “Carrie” (opened October 18 throughout San Diego).

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Armored Knights Face Off In Poway At Tournament Of The Phoenix

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Dust off your armor and pick your finest steed because beginning Friday, the Tournament of the Phoenix kicks off three days of jousting, equestrian display and pollaxe combat at the Poway Rodeo.

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Preview: Love Gone Wrong Marathon

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This Saturday starting at 11:45 a.m. at the Birch North Park Theater, FilmOut holds its latest quarterly film marathon. This time it's all about "Love Gone Wrong."

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Review: 'Machete Kills'

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“Machete Kills” (opening October 11 throughout San Diego) is so outrageously over the top that it blows the roof off the theater.

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Review: 'The Dark Touch'

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Not all little girls with telekinesis are called Carrie. The new Irish film “Dark Touch” (screening Fri., Oct. 11 only at 10 pm at the Digital Gym Cinema) serves up some new horrors.

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Review: 'Escape From Tomorrow'

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Filmmaker Randy Moore shot his film “Escape From Tomorrow” (opening October 11 at the Digital Gym Cinema) at the happiest place on earth, but without permission from Disney World.

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New on Blu-ray: "Curse Of Chucky"

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Sometimes I don’t understand Hollywood. Okay most of the time I don’t. But why “Curse of Chucky” (coming out on Blu-ray October 8) is going straight to video is a head scratcher.

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Preview: German Currents

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What better way to celebrate Oktoberfest than with German Currents: Third Annual Festival of German Film (October 5 and 6 at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park) and a film about beer.

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Review: 'Gravity'

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As we head into Oscar season a film named “Gravity” (opening October 4 throughout San Diego) sounds exactly like what Academy voters will be looking for.

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Review: 'Blue Caprice'

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The Beltway Sniper attacks that terrorized Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia in October of 2002 provide the basis for the new movie “Blue Caprice" (opens Oct. 4 at the Digital Gym Cinema).

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Rants And Raves: Scream Zone

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Last year Halloween sales reached a record-setting $8 billion, making it the second-largest commercial holiday, topped only by Christmas. This also means opportunities for seasonal jobs. I'll take you out to one business for an afternoon of job interviews. I highly recommend listening to this piece.

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Preview: San Diego Comic Fest

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The San Diego Comic Fest is not affiliated with Comic-Con but it wants to create an event that harkens back to the early days of Comic-Con when it was smaller, more intimate, and you had a chance to hang out with guests.

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Preview: San Diego Film Festival

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The San Diego Film Festival kicks off its 12th year tonight with the San Diego premiere of “12 Years a Slave.”

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Rants And Raves: 'Breaking Bad'

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One of the best shows ever to grace television ended last night, it’s sad to say good-bye to “Breaking Bad.” (Spoilers will ensue.)

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Review: 'I Am Divine'

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John Waters’ favorite star Divine is the subject of the new documentary “I am Divine,” which had its San Diego premiere in May as FilmOut’s closing night film. Now it returns for an engagement at the Digital Gym (playing September 28 and 29, and October 1 and 2).

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Entomologist Gives Behind-The-Scenes Tour Of The Insect World

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Explore the wonders of the insect world as entomologist Dr. Michael Wall takes us behind the scenes of TheNAT's entomology department.

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Review: 'A Single Shot'

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If crime thrillers teach you anything it’s this: If you find stolen money don’t take it. It only leads to bad things. “A Single Shot” (opening September 20 at Reading Gaslamp Theaters) explores what happens when you don't follow this advice.

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Behind The Scenes: 'Logan Heights'

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Last weekend, playwright Josefina Lopez had two plays running in San Diego, the politically charged "Detained in the Desert" at the La Jolla Playhouse’s Shank Theater and the highly personal "Logan Heights" at Onstage Playhouse. The productions reveal the role community theater plays in telling these stories.

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Is San Diego Craft Beer Creating A Beer Culture?

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San Diego is something of a beer mecca drawing people from around the world with nearly 70 licensed breweries making an exceptionally diverse array of craft beers. So the question I explored for KPBS Arts Spectrum is, are San Diego craft breweries creating a beer culture?

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Interview: Voice Actor Billy West

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Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation continues this weekend and talented voice actor Billy West of “Futurama” will be on hand for autographs, photos and Q&A.

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Rants And Raves: Cinema Under the Stars

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Cinema Under the Stars is celebrating two decades of outdoor movies in Mission Hills. Check out my video of this cozy alternate movie venue where you can watch classic movies every week through November.

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Review: 'Short Term 12'

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SDSU grad Destin Cretton proves that you can go from film school to indie success. His new film "Short Term 12" (opening September 13 at Arclight and Landmark Theaters) arrives after garnering the Grand Jury and Audience Awards at SXSW.

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Review: 'Men In Suits'

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Most people can rattle off the names of movie monsters from Godzilla to Predator but very few can name the suit actors who play them. The documentary “Men in Suits" (playing Saturday, September 14 at the Digital Gym Cinema) tries to set that right.

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New On Blu-ray: The Bava Collection

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Mario Bava is a highly influential director from Italy’s golden age of horror and thankfully Kino Classics is re-releasing his films on Blu-ray for a new generation to appreciate.

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Review: 'Some Like It Hot'

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Trying to beat the heat? There’s no better way than with "Some Like It Hot" at the Cinema Under the Stars (screening tonight through Saturday).

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Midday Movies: 'Short Term 12'

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On this month’s edition of the Midday Movies, KPBS arts and culture reporter Beth Accomando looks to an indie hit with San Diego ties — "Short Term 12" (opening in San Diego on September 13).

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Preview: 'Woman in the Mirror'

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Yesterday was the late pop star Michael Jackson’s birthday and MJ impersonator Devra Gregory celebrated with a dance class teaching his signature moves. She continues the celebration with a revival of her one woman show “Woman in the Mirror” at White Box Live Arts at Liberty Station tonight and tomorrow night at 8:00pm.

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Review: 'Una Noche'

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Art imitates life with the Cuban film “Una Noche” (opening August 30 for one week only at The Digital Gym Cinema). Last year two of its actors defected to the U.S. en route to the film’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

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Review: 'Drug War'

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Johnnie To may be Hong Kong’s best kept secret. His new film “Drug War” is currently playing at AMC Mission Valley. Go before it leaves.

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Review: 'The World's End'

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Cornetto is a brand of ice cream in England. The Cornetto Trilogy is a trio of films by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg. It began with "Shaun of the Dead," continued with "Hot Fuzz," and comes to a conclusion with "The World’s End" (opening August 23 throughout San Diego).

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Spike And Mike's 20th Anniversary Sick And Twisted Festival of Animation

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Spike and Mike’s various festivals of animation are a homegrown San Diego treasure. This Saturday (at 5:30pm and 7:30pm at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego at La Jolla) meet “Ren and Stimpy” creator John K at the latest edition of Spike and Mike's 20th Anniversary Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation.

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Preview: Éxitos Del Cine Latino

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The San Diego Latino Film Festival expands its programming with a new mini-festival called Éxitos Del Cine Latino. The festival kicks off this Friday with an eclectic collection of films.

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Silent Movie Night Presents 'The Eagle'

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The 26th Annual Summer International Organ Festival continues tonight with a screening of “The Eagle,” starring Rudolph Valentino. It's Silent Movie Night outdoors at the Spreckels Organ Pavillion.

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Review: 'Kick-Ass 2'

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“Kick-Ass 2” (opening August 16 throughout San Diego) does not equal or surpass its predecessor but it’s a solid follow up that continues the story in a logical manner.

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Review: 'In A World...'

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When you watch a movie trailer you probably recognize the stars and even the director. But do you ever think about the person doing the voiceover? "In A World..." (opening August 16 at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas) does.

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Old Globe Gives 'Double Indemnity' Its San Diego Premiere

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James M. Cain's hard-boiled novel "Double Indemnity" was made into a film in 1944 and into a play in 2011. The play gets its San Diego premiere this summer at the Old Globe Theatre.

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Preview: New Play Cafe's Simply Sci-Fi

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The Big Kitchen Cafe is known for its home-style cooking and desserts but starting tonight you may get a close encounter along with your strawberry shortcake thanks to the New Play Café’s Simply Sci-Fi.